Monday, November 14, 2011


When we used to keep chickens in the same barn as the sheep, sometimes the chickens would use the sheep as a stepping stone to get up to the manger where they roosted. It didn't do much for the fleeces due to the occasional "accident," but the sheep seemed to enjoy having the chicken on its back for the moment. The sheep would try to peer around to look at the sheep on its back at the same time proudly showing off. "I have a chicken on my back and you don't."

The kittens are getting very adventurous. The black one chases the bantam rooster and was the first to decide to sit on one of the sheep about a week ago. The grey kitten is a bit more cautious. Fred caught these photos of the kittens and the sheep together.

Sunday, November 06, 2011


The last couple of times I went to Rhinebeck, I was drawn to pictorial hooked rugs. I guess it was only a matter of time. Mary, who comes to our Friday afternoons with her daughter, has brought her hooked rugs to work on. I was fascinated so she gave me everything I needed to get started including strips of wool fabric in many colors. When I found I needed a color she hadn’t given me I either over-dyed the orange strips and mottled them with brown or Navaho-plied black and grey yarns I had here. Lots of fun!
It seems to me a spinner would have a terrific advantage as a rug hooker. A spinner can card together the exact colors needed and spin just the right amounts so there would be endless color possibilities with no “left-overs.”

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


One morning when I went out to feed the sheep I found a tiny black kitten curled up by the sheep pen in the barn. There was no sign of its mother or any other kittens. It fit in the palm of my hand. I brought it a bit of sheepskin to sleep on and gave it some food and water and quite a bit of petting. The kitten did well, but after a couple of days it disappeared. It was certainly not able to walk far on its own so I thought some creature had killed it. Then Fred found the whole litter in some wood behind the shed and the little black kitten came out to greet him. I wanted "my" kitten back, but decided he needed company so Fred grabbed the grey female with white markings. She did not approve of the arrangement at first, hissing and spitting at us, but after a couple of days, we had won her over. We had a bit of a scare before the big snowstorm when we saw the mother cat carrying a kitten from the barn. We thought she had "our" kitten. She had been visiting our adoptees, feeding them and eating the food I put out for them in exchange.

She must have settled the remaining three kittens in her litter in the barn after Fred rearranged the wood pile and then with the snow storm coming, decided to bring them back to the neighbor's place where she lives. We will get our kittens spayed and neutered and vaccinated. They will be purrfect for life in the barn. Yesterday evening when I went to feed the animals, the black kitten was curled up on the back of a sheep, patting another sheep on the nose.